Hey everyone, this is Amber Sides with the Sandhills Cattle Association with your update of the Sandhills Cattle News!
I just wanted to share with you all some information regarding the initiative that was proposed in Colorado recently. A ballot initiative was proposed in Colorado to criminalize ranchers and vets performing routine livestock procedures such as artificial insemination, castration, and other animal husbandry acts. The initiative was an attempt to add livestock and fish to the state's animal cruelty laws and redefine what constitutes a "sexual act with an animal." It also would require that slaughtering of livestock only occur if an animal has lived a quarter of it's natural lifespan in which they were estimating a 20 year lifespan for a cow. Passing this initiative would vastly change cattle's current practices as they are often butchered before the age of 3 as well as ending rodeos, dog shows, animal ag and much more. Let's also not forget how this would have affected the Annual Denver Stock Show, which is one of Colorado's largest revenues, with an economic impact of about $120 million in a given year. Colorado Livestock Association CEO Bill Hammerich said that not only would it hurt the state's ag industry, but it also affects meat and meat product exports, which make up nearly 14% of Colorado exports. The rural communities would be devastated by this, and the front range would soon also feel the effects as they would no longer be able to purchase local meat.
The website for the ballot initiative called Protect Animals from Unnecessary Suffering and Exploitation or the PAUSE act says it will extend animal welfare rights to all farm animals and that there is no rational reason to exempt farmed animals from basic abuse laws that currently exist to protect our pets. However, as many of you AG producers are WELL-aware, raising a cow does not compare to raising a household cat or dog; therefor, it seems a bit radical to include livestock under the same laws.
On Monday, the ballot was reviewed before the Supreme Court and was ruled 7-0 for the initiative. This was a massive win for the ag industry and Colorado as it may have had rippling effects on other states. The livestock coalition will continue to monitor any new initiatives filed by proponents of this measure.
It's quite daunting to think there people out there planning these initiatives without proper knowledge or at least scientific data to support their ideas. Then proposing these absurd ideas of the AG industry to the public, which we know many will only read or hear animal abuse. It automatically puts a label on farmers, ranchers, and vets as animal abusers. This is just another reason why it is so essential for ag producers and ag supporters to help create public awareness of what the ag industry is truly about and its vital role in our society.
A Colorado Ag Producer said it best in a video discussing the initiative, "We don't force anyone to consume beef; it's always been by choice."
In other news, according to the High Plains, US Drought Monitoring system, "Precipitation across the High Plains region varied significantly this week, though very warm temperatures were consistent across the region. Notably, many places in the central and northern Great Plains have had warmer daytime high temperatures than much of the southern Great Plains, leading to potentially large losses of surface moisture to the atmosphere through evaporation and transpiration in the northern Great Plains. A few areas in the western half of North Dakota received enough rain from several thunderstorm events to improve their drought status, though this primarily occurred in areas with very heavy rain amounts (some locales received over 5 inches). For the most part, while welcome, the heavy rains have come after months of warm and dry conditions, and the widespread severe, extreme, and exceptional drought has been slow to improve as impacts to plants and livestock continue. In north-central and northeast South Dakota, and adjacent portions of North Dakota, moderate and severe drought expanded."
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐝𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐲𝐨𝐮? If you have EXTRA hay reserves, we have plenty of folks looking to take it off your hands. Call us to list your hay today, so folks can get the feed they need to keep their herds going!
Call (402) 376-2310 or email email@example.com.
Also, our EP&C calves have shipped! So stay tuned for data and announcements surrounding that!
That's all for this week. This is Amber Sides with the Sandhills Cattle Association with your update of the Sandhills Cattle News.